Visionary thinking 

May, 17, 2007
I suppose you've been watching. But just in case, it's worth noting that the Tampa Bay Devil Rays are playing three games this week in a spring training ballpark in Kissimmee, Florida. They're not doing this because of flooding, or falling I-beams, or some ancient Indian curse upon their usual home grounds. They're doing it because their owner thinks it makes sense. And because nobody's interested in watching them play at home, anyway.

According to the AP recap of last night's game, "The middle game of the series drew a crowd of 8,839. That was slightly more than 8,443 for the opener and well above the 8,241 the teams averaged for six dates last season at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg."

By that measure, the Devil Rays don't lose anything at all, playing these games in a minor league ballpark. Like it's a good thing. But isn't it a bad thing, that the Devil Rays can draw just as many fans in a minor league ballpark as they would in their major league ballpark?